Sufjan Stevens Live @ KCRW Video

So do people actually read these things on the weekend?

Judging from my hitcount today (which is a lot lower than usual), my guess is resounding "NO."

Oh well, their loss.

This has been short and pointless, so I'll offer something worthwhile to make up for it. Here ya go:

VIDEO Sufjan Stevens Live @ KCRW (Real Player Required) (63.04MB)

This is the video available for stream at KCRW's website, but streams suck right? The quality isn't the best, but its entirely watchable. Remember, it's a .ram file, which is only playable through Real Player.



Sufjan Stevens Live @ Judson College

So, I know people love this man (*cough*ME*cough*), and that this show isn't very widely available, so I thought I'd make it available.

This is from his solo show at Judson College on November 19th, 2003. It's a great set and includes a few rarities, like "Lakes of Canada," "Borderline," and "Opie's Funeral Song." This is a great show, so make sure you grab it.

EDIT - Ok.. so these mp3s have helped kill my bandwidth.. so I'm gonna take them down. I'll upload them to rapidshare later.

MP3 The One I Love (REM Cover)
MP3 Opie's Funeral Song
MP3 Borderline
MP3 Vito's Ordination Song
MP3 Sister
MP3 Seven Swans
MP3 Lakes of Canada
MP3 Rake

This was recorded straight off the soundboard, so the quality is GREAT. Sorry that the show is out of order, as I'm not really sure of the right order, but I'm sure you're ok with that. This is the whole show, including the stories between songs, tuning, etc.

Also, make sure you check out today's other post, on New York indie/folk band taKKa taKKa.

taKKa taKKa

I definitely didn't expect to be posting about these guys today, but they really caught my attention.

The other day I got an email from taKKa taKKa's Gabe Levine, praising my blog and offering to send me some stuff by his band. I checked out his band's website and boy was I suprised. These New Yorkers have some serious talent. What I found when I ventured to their simple (yet charming) website was a bunch of neat, folky indie/rock songs. Their sound is so familiar, but not stale. I spent a few hours last night listening to "They Built You Up Too Fast," "Joshua and Professor Faulkner," and "American Queen" trying to pinpoint who they sound like. Even after scanning thorugh my extensive iTunes library, I couldn't really put my finger on it. I heard a little bit of Yo La Tengo. A little American Analog Set. And even a little Neutral Milk Hotel. Yet those comparisions still don't really work all that well. I really can't wait to hear more.

MP3 Joshua and Prof. Faulkner
MP3 American Queen
MP3 Subway Shanty

From Fall Apart Art
MP3 Jackson
MP3 They Built You Up Too Fast

Check out their website for more info.

Yes, this is kind of short.. so expect another entry later.


More and More Minor Additions

I changed the commenting and trackback ability of my blog. This erased all comments (even though I do have them saved as emails), so feel free to "releave" me some love.

Stay tuned for more minor tweakings.

Also make sure you check out today's music post.

Various Artists Live @ KEXP

Sorry for the late update today, for some reason I thought Sufjan Stevens was going to be at KEXP today when in actuality he'll be there Saturday at 7:30pm EST.

But anyways, I thought I'd offer some songs I've ripped from recent radio performances @ KEXP. I've ripped over 50 total, but here are some of my favs.

As always right click and save as...

MP3 Matt Pond PA - New Hampshire (Live @ KEXP)
MP3 The Decemberists - We Both Go Down Together (Live @ KEXP)
MP3 Sufjan Stevens - For The Widows in Paradise, For The Fatherless in Ypsilanti (Live @ KEXP)
MP3 Ben Gibbard - The Dream of Evan and Chan (Live @ KEXP)
MP3 Iron & Wine - Free Until They Cut Me Down (Live @ KEXP)

I'm tired of giving kind of crappy updates, so I'll make sure I put up all full one tomorrow.


More Minor Additions...

I added a few more things to the sidebar out of sheer boredom and for your convience.

There is a quick link section that has recent notable posts listed. I also seperated out my blogs a little bit.

Also, I moved all the music files into a different folder on my server, so if a link is dead, please drop me a line so I can fix the link. I'm pretty sure I got them all, but let me know if I missed one.

What's in store for tomorrow? Sufjan Stevens appearence on KEXP is at the top of my list, so hopefully he performs some songs. Otherwise, I'll have Feist's recent KEXP performance up.

Until then...

The National Live @ KEXP

So lately I've been on a binge, ripping almost every good stream of a radio performance I can find. And today I'm giving you another one.

The National have been one of those bands that just takes over my iPod. I've searched out almost everything they've recorded and have logged dozens and dozens of plays in just a few short weeks. Their most recent effort, Alligator, is one of my favorite records of this year, with driving yet beautiful melodic indie rock songs. I only wish they were coming closer on their tour with Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!.

So here you are, four wonderfully performed songs by The National. Make sure you at least check out "All The Wine" and "Wasp Nest," two of my favorite songs by this great band.

MP3 All the Wine (Live)
MP3 Lit Up (Live)
MP3 The Geese of Beverly Road (Live)
MP3 Wasp Nest (Live)


Sufjan Stevens Live in San Francisco (7/17/05)

This post is gonna be quick, but I thought I'd at least post these.

I have 2 MP3s for ya. Both are from a recent show in San Francisco by the one and only Sufjan Stevens. I was sent this show by a member of the All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Forum and have been cleaning them up for the last day or so. These are two of the best so far. Keep in mind, however, that the quality is kind of low, but it gives you some idea of what his live show sounds like.

There may be another MP3 or two added tonight, so check it later.

Sufjan Stevens (Live in SF 7/17/05)
MP3 Casimir Pulaski Day (Live)
MP3 A Good Man is Hard to Find (Live)

And remember, the quality is pretty low, but not horrible. I've cleaned the shit of these things and they still aren't sounding great.



Monday Mix #6

It's Monday, so here's the goods:

As always: right click and save as...

1. Stellastarr* - Lost In Time (from Harmonies for the Haunted)
So remember back before there weren't 400 new wave "revival" bands? Well, back in 2003 (was that really all the way back in 2003? Whoa...) Stellastarr* came onto the scene with their (now not so) distinct "new wave-meets-electro/pop" sound and garnered some pretty moderate critical attention. I don't know about anyone else, but I freakin loved the few songs I had heard at the time. So fast foward to 2005 and they aren't so distinct anymore. That doesn't really make them bad though... right? Well their forthcoming full length, Harmonies for the Haunted is more of the same dance/80's/synth pop. This isn't entirely like everything else though, managing to pay respects to the works of Robert Smith and David Bryne, while channeling their great energy and catchiness. It's good stuff.

2. The National - Mr. November (from Alligator)
I've been pretty much hooked on two bands/artists as of late: Sufjan Stevens and the National. The National have such a great sound: it's like driving indie rock... with a lighter touch then you'd expect. Singer Matt Berninger's dyanamic baritone is unique and definitive, giving even more depth to band that has written some great songs (see: "Wasp Nest," "Abel," "Trophy Wife," etc.).

3. The Get Up Kids - Campfire Kansas (from On A Wire)
I think I'll always have a place in my heart for The Get Up Kids. Yes, it's a little whiny. And yes, it's a little generic. But so what? It never really tried to be anything more then what it really was at it's core: emotional punk-laced rock. Matt Pryor is a great performer and can write some really enjoyable songs. "Campfire Kansas" is probably my favorite song ever by TGUK, and it never ceases to remind me of summer; and in the greatest way.

4. Cary Brothers - Blue Eyes (Live) (from Live Performance @ KEXP)
The first time I heard of Cary Brothers, I admit, was through Zach Braff's great film Garden State. This song was one of the best on the great soundtrack (right there with Frou Frou's "Let Go" and Colin Hay's "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You") filled with wonder songs. This is a live version of the afforementioned tune from Brothers' appearence/performance at KEXP. Enjoy.

EDIT: Sorry.. I linked to the wrong song. The actual Wolf Parade song is now up.

5. Wolf Parade - Grounds for Divorce (from Apologies to the Queen Mary)
There's a lot of hype surrounding these guys and for good measure. They've had a write-up in The New York Times, have shared the stage with Modest Mouse, have gotten (proverbial) hand-job and after hand-job from the indie rock world's biggest critics. They aren't gonna change your life like some bands supposedly can (*cough*ClapYourHandandSayYeah!*cough*), but they're damn good at what they do. It's a little bit of 80's infused indie/pop, in the vane of Moon and Antartica-era Modest Mouse. It's enjoyable, even it if won't change your life.*

*Please ignore my blatant use of sarcasm in this paragraph about CYHSY!... I'm really, really tired...

Coming Soon...

So what's in store for this week?

Feist Live @ KEXP
Sufjan Steven Live @ KEXP
A few live Sufjan Tracks from Yesterday's show in San Francisco.
And more...


Odds and Ends

You Ain't No Picasso pointed out to me that you can stream the entire (!) new Page France album Hello Dear Wind. It's all over at their Purevolume page. Have I mentioned how much I freakin love these guys? I can't wait for this one...

Use a Mac? Want to try a neat "new" broswer? I'm personally gonna pimp out Shiira, an open source browser that uses the Safari rendering engine. It's stable, fast, and has a lot of neat features like Safari Bookmark recognition (it'll read your Safari bookmarks without even importing them!!). Give it try.

Cliptip, a music video blog, posted M83's video for "Don't Save Us From the Flames" the other day. The link is here.


Layout Additions...

Just a quick note:

I've added a few things to the sidebar today out of boredom. The first is that you can now hover your mouse over the images in the "What's on the Pod?" Section and it'll tell you what artist and album it's from. Next, I added two new sections: What's in the Book Shelf?" and "What's in the DVD Player?" Basically, it's what I'm currently reading and watching. You can hover your mouse over those links as well and get a description and/or review of the work in question. Those descriptions/reviews come courtesy of Amazon.com.

Let me know if it all works correctly.

That's all for now.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

I'm worn out from a long week, so I have an idea. Basically, here's my plan for the post: recommend a couple of artist's and offer up some MP3's of a couple of songs that I've been listening to a lot lately. It's short, simple and damn sexy. Or something like that.

So, here's the goods:

MP3 Joanna Newsom - "Bridges and Balloons" (from The Milk-Eyed Mender)
I know a lot of people who dislike her (usually based solely on the strangeness of her voice), but her and her odd voice have really grown on me, a la Conor Oberst. It's chock full of harp-goodness wrapped in a Bjork-like menagerie of high pitched screeches and strangely beautiful melodies. It's not for everyone, but give it a try.

Her website is at this address.

MP3 Devendra Banhart - When They Come (from the forthcoming Cripple Crow)
Devendra is a little weird. His Grizzly Adams beard and songs about love for little boys will probably be a little disheartening to some. But to others (like me), his brand of chillingly dark country/folk music is pretty damn good. This is the kind of music that you could put to an episode of HBO's now defunct series Carnivale and have it work perfectly. Devendra is one of those really great songwriters that never really gets much attention and probably never will. Nevertheless, he's worth looking into if you're into... well... good music.

More information can be found at his website and a sampler from his album Cripple Crow can be found here.

MP3 Imogen Heap - "Just for Now" (from the forthcoming Speak for Yourself)
It seems like "Hide and Seek" has been getting all the attention, which is understandable, but I like this track quite a bit more. The harmonies are just gorgeous and it's a little more innocent then "Hide and Seek" (even though I do absolutely love that song). Frou Frou's front... um... lady can craft some really beautiful songs, and this is one of her best.

Check out her website.

And while I'm at it, here are a few more recommendations:

If you've never seen it, I recommend checking out the entire Band of Brothers mini-series that aired on HBO a few years back. It's out on DVD, so you should be able to find it to rent/buy. It's really great stuff. The entire series is one big collection of stories that come are emotional, powerful, funny, visually gorgeous, and very poignant. Amazon has the info on the DVD here.

I've been reading a lot of Carl Sandburg lately. So, I recommend at least checking out his poetry, which can be found with a quick search on Google.

What? No Sufjan today? I can't have that happen:

MP3 The Star Spangled Banner (Live) (from performance at Lee's Palace in Toronto, 11/16/04)
This is great rendition of this oldie. Sufjan changes the lyrics around a bit, but I think it's a lot better then the one written by that Francis Scott guy...